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At least one defence personnel from the three wings of the armed forces— Army, Navy and Air Force — have committed suicide every three days between January 1, 2014, to March 31, 2017, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

IAF airman commits suicide at Tambaram Air Force Station near Chennai

The most recent victim was Narendra R from Bengaluru, a soldier who was deployed on duty at Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir.

Narendra shot himself dead with his service rifle that was issued to him on the afternoon of October 8. Although the soldier was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, he succumbed to the injury.

348 personnel end lives in 3 years

The MoD said that in 1,185 days, 348 defence personnel have killed themselves while on duty. It also stated that most of them were from the Army, particularly those deployed for longer periods in terror-affected Jammu and Kashmir region or the Northeast states facing insurgency problems.

Nearly 80 percent of the 348 soldiers who committed suicide belong to the Army. Navy has till now reported at least 12 suicides.

Why are forces ending lives?

Though the locations where the most suicides were committed reportedly have more work stress, the ministry said most of the military personnel resorted to the extreme step owing to personal reasons like land disputes back in their hometowns.

When the personnel is preoccupied with problems back home, it becomes more difficult to cope with the strenuous conditions in these locations, an officer is quoted by Economic Times as saying.

Meanwhile, another officer added that sometimes the job stress too is the reason for the men to end lives.

Indian army
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"Long tenures at these stations take a toll on the mental and physical health of a personnel.Training and the pride of serving the nation keeps us going, but sometimes it gets difficult," a Colonel who has served multiple tenures in the forward areas on the western front told the English daily.

The MoD said it has been training many officers to counsel those in distress and working on to create a better environment for the personnel.